On April 27, after his third day in the major leagues, Cody Bellinger received a text message from the general manager who drafted him.
His first series had not gone well. His lone hit was an accidental infield single. He struck out in nearly half his at-bats. He looked overmatched, more project than prodigy, a 21-year-old guessing and flailing in San Francisco.
“Don’t forget, have great confidence,” Ned Colletti wrote. “You will do very well. You adjust better than anybody.”
The response was sheepish but resolute. “I’ll get back on track soon, don’t worry,” Bellinger replied.
He was right. Any fears were unfounded.
Bellinger finished his first week by...